Mango is an important item in our list of agricultural procurements. Top quality mangoes are used in the manufacture of our juice drink Maaza. We realized early that we would need to invest in supply chain sustainability to help our agricultural suppliers to grow with us at a fast pace. Project Unnati helps farmers learn new techniques to double their crop yield and at the same time reduce stress on water sources for irrigation.
In 2011, we launched project Unnati in the state of Andhra Pradesh, along with our partner, Jain Irrigation. Unnati is a supply chain program aimed at adoption of the Ultra High Density farming Practice (UDHP) by leveraging drip irrigation to increase the productivity of mangoes required for our juice drinks. The project will encourage sustainable agricultural methods that can help double yields. In the initial phase, we are covering 200 demonstration farms of size 1 to 3 acres. This will increase the income of farmers by improving yield/acre and simultaneously decreasing the quantity of water consumed per kilo of mango produced. A unique capability building system has been developed to train farmers through Jain Irrigation and Coca-Cola University.
The variety of orange that is used in the manufacture of packaged orange juices is not cultivated in India. However, we are at the initial stages of working with some of our partners to develop a test farm in India to cultivate the variety economically. Initial findings indicate the possibility of being able to cultivate the variety at a scale that is economically beneficial to the local farmer. We are hopeful that this will work as it helps reduce our exposure to global import constraints, and at the same time offers a promise of better revenues to the local farmers.